Another week done, chalk it down. Big weekend coming up – championship final weekend. That’s the main focus for this weekend (and to be honest, for the last week aswell).
This week was a busy one in university though – lectures and workshops.
Monday we had two lectures and two workshops. The first lecture ended up with us practicing how to say hello to a classroom and how to breathe – riveting stuff. The two workshops were very helpful. I’ve always found the Monday workshops to be excellent to bounce ideas around and discuss and debate opinions and potential lesson plans with the other student teachers. One of the ideas I suggested was for the children to record their own learning through video logs or keeping blogs that would be accessible only to the teachers, parents and the child. The theme for Monday was inclusion. We discussed the difficulties we will face as teachers in ensuring an inclusive environment for the children when society by nature is exclusive – the haves and have nots.
Tuesday and Wednesday passed by in a blur but one thing we practiced which I found very useful was something the tutor referred to as jigsaw lessons. We were separated in to groups and each group was assigned a certain part of research for a topic. After 5 minutes or so, we were scattered in to other groups (number 1’s from first groups all together, number 2’s etc) and from there we each shared our findings on each area of research to give a detailed overview of the given topic. I thought it to be an excellent method and one that could be used to create an environment in which the children are happy to discuss ideas and theories about whatever topic is being covered among themselves. This, one hopes will lead to them coming up with their own ideas and not being spoon-fed information from a teacher all the time.
Thursday was RME and Maths. We had a lecture and workshop on each. I mentioned it last week but I’m really not convinced about the usefulness of the lectures.
Today was cool. Today we looked at ICT and Science (both workshops) which we haven’t done in a month. In ICT we were asked to design games for kids that related to some part of the curriculum. The group I was part of tried creating one related to healthy eating and it’s a work in progress. We’ll be coming back to it over the next few weeks so it will, no doubt, be an internationally acclaimed blockbuster just in time for Christmas and maybe The Late Late Toy Show. For those of you who are not familiar with The Late Late Toy Show – I urge you to check in to it. It’s one of these things that Irish people will ramble on about, especially when living abroad – “Blah blah blah TEA BAGS…blah blah blah blah MIKADOS…blah blah THE LATE LATE TOY SHOW.
In Science, we played CSI – we looked at a way for children to learn about science and it’s applications in the real world. We had to use forensic science (really basic forensic science) to find the culprit. Luckily, we caught him within the hour. Horatio Cane, eat your heart out.
One thing that’s been bothering me since the start of the course, is the readings. I asked a few people in my groups about them and they agree with my judgement of them. I find the academic gobbledygook that all the readings are written in to be so frustrating because I always feel so stupid reading them. Apparently I’m not alone on this though. I must admit, as stupid as I feel when reading these texts that are supposed to help us – it does not make me doubt my potential ability as a teacher.
And that was the week that was.
Thanks to everyone who takes the time to read this. Hope it’s proving to be helpful/informative or at least entertaining! If you have any feedback or opinions, don’t be shy, I’d love to hear them!
Right so. G’luck, g’luck, g’luck.